Event Title

"i some hear words:" Authors and Authority in Representations of Mormon Prophecy

Presenter Information

Porter James, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, K209

Start Date

4-25-2014 4:00 PM

End Date

4-25-2014 5:15 PM

Abstract

Since the writings of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith first appeared in the 1820s, a bitter controversy has arisen over the question of Smith’s authority to speak for God. Reframing this controversy as a question of authorship, I ask: Who or what is the subject in Smith’s creative process of vision-production, and to what extent can this subject be considered an author? I explore different approaches to this problem that representations of Smith have taken in popular culture, church-sponsored media, and an opera I composed, prophecy machine. The latter reflects my own secular Mormon perspective on Smith’s authorship.

Notes

Session III, Panel 16 - “A city set on a hill cannot be hid”: Studies of Religious Authority
Moderator: Steven Wojtal, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Geology

Major

Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Jan Miyake, Music Theory

Project Mentor(s)

Lyn Goeringer, TIMARA

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Apr 25th, 4:00 PM Apr 25th, 5:15 PM

"i some hear words:" Authors and Authority in Representations of Mormon Prophecy

Science Center, K209

Since the writings of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith first appeared in the 1820s, a bitter controversy has arisen over the question of Smith’s authority to speak for God. Reframing this controversy as a question of authorship, I ask: Who or what is the subject in Smith’s creative process of vision-production, and to what extent can this subject be considered an author? I explore different approaches to this problem that representations of Smith have taken in popular culture, church-sponsored media, and an opera I composed, prophecy machine. The latter reflects my own secular Mormon perspective on Smith’s authorship.